How to Write a Cover Letter for Morgan Stanley
The firm Morgan Stanley is one of the biggest multinational investment banks and financial services companies that you can find around. Headquartered in New York, Morgan Stanley is blessed with 500 offices in more than 42 countries and 60,000+ employees worldwide. If you ever wondered whether Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan shared any similarity apart from investment banking then we are here to tell you that your premonition is right. One of the principal founders of Morgan Stanley, Henry Morgan, was the grandson of J.P. Morgan. Henry founded Morgan Stanley as a standalone investment bank in 1935.
The creation came as a result of the fallout from the Glass Steagall Act of 1933 which provided that a corporation could not have investment banking and commercial banking businesses under a single holding entity. One of the entities affected by the Act was JP Morgan and it decided to take on its commercial banking business practice over its investment banking practice. As a result, Henry Morgan and Harold Stanley with other employees left to form what we know today as Morgan Stanley.
Morgan Stanley serves its clients from three major business segments. Their Institutional Securities segment provides institutions such as corporations and governments with services involving capital raising, financial advisory, M&A, restructurings, and the like. The Wealth Management segment provides financial and wealth planning solutions to individual investors and small to medium-sized institutions. Lastly, the Investment Management group works mostly with institutional investors and retail clients and provides them with asset management products and services in equity, fixed income, alternative investments, real estate investment, and private equity.
In writing to Morgan Stanley it’s a good thing to know about their financial health. For the fiscal year of 2021, Morgan Stanley reported that its full-year net revenues were $59.8 billion compared with the $48.8 billion it had in 2020. Their financial report shows that Institutional Securities are their biggest revenue maker with record net revenues of $29.8 billion, a 13% increase from the $26.4 billion in the fiscal year of 2020. Their next biggest revenue makers are the Wealth Management and Investment Management Groups with $24.2 billion and $6.2 billion respectively. As of December 31, 2021, Morgan Stanley reported that assets under management were $1.6 trillion.
In the following sections, we will talk about the four parts that make up an excellent cover letter to Morgan Stanley but if you would rather skip this, you can jump further to section five where we provide a sample of a successful cover letter to Morgan Stanley.
Section 1: Cover Letter Introduction
A great cover letter to Morgan Stanley offers you one of the best platforms and opportunities to introduce yourself as the best candidate for the role and there’s no better place to start this than with an excellent introduction. If your introduction is poor understand that the Morgan Stanley recruiter will not read on to find out about other things in the letter no matter how incredible you may be. Remember the phrase first impression matters. The first impression of the body of your cover letter is the introduction. Think about your cover letter to Morgan Stanley as a book, if you start reading a book and the first few pages are engaging – no matter the genre – you will want to keep reading on.
Thus, irrespective of the post you are applying for in Morgan Stanley, you must deliver an introductory paragraph that is substantial, effective, and engaging to the person(s) reading your letter; a letter that will satisfy their hungry brains. If you do this, you would have won an important battle – keeping the reader engaged with your application.
For example, in your introduction, you should aim to provide all or most of the following information: the role being applied for, how you found the role, your academic history, a bit of your work experience, and your unique personality. If you have attended events hosted by Morgan Stanley, this is the place to mention it. If you have met any of their representatives also mention it.
Section Two: Why should Morgan Stanley choose you?
There will be hundreds of candidates applying to Morgan Stanley for the same position so you must show Morgan Stanley why they should choose you. In this part of your cover letter, you need to act as a salesman or saleswoman – you need to sell yourself (and it seems that quite a few students have an issue with this). This section is one of the most important parts that you must execute properly if you want to get the role. This is where you make the case for why you’d be an exceptional hire. You do this by differentiating yourself from the rest by showcasing your experience & qualifications and how it will benefit Morgan Stanley. We advise that this step gets at least one paragraph as it’s one of the most important sections because you need to sell your skills or abilities that you feel make you the ideal candidate for the position.
If you are finding it tough selling yourself on your cover letter, this is what you need to do. We further advise you to carry out two tasks. First, draw up a list of your experiences, skills and abilities (and any other achievements and responsibilities that you can think of). Secondly, write down an inventory of the skills or traits that Morgan Stanley desires that candidates possess in the role you are applying for. You will find these traits by researching extensively about what Morgan Stanley wants in their candidates. For example, Morgan Stanley recruiters – on record – have stated that they look for the following traits in their interns:
- A candidate that knows what he/she wants and why he/she wants it
- Stays calm and keeps listening
- Gets into the weeds
- Can show their resourcefulness
- Has an opinion
- Does not fake it
- Has a life
When you have carried out these tasks, the next thing to do is to look at the experiences, skills and abilities that you have that match what Morgan Stanley is looking for. These are known as relevant experiences. When you have highlighted them you then draft this section by telling them how through your previous experience or responsibility you were able to gain or apply the desired trait. When selling yourself in a cover letter the trick is to ‘show not tell. If you have experience in investment banking, private equity, venture capital, financial modelling, the legal field, forecasting, and risk management talk about it. Do share your story. Take the reader on your journey and let your personality come through on your cover letter.
Section Three: Why Morgan Stanley and not any of its Competitors
Every company that exists is unique; as such Morgan Stanley is unique. Morgan Stanley is exceptional and if you fail to show that you are in touch with their uniqueness through your cover letter, your application will fail. If you have researched Morgan Stanley then this section will not be an issue. You should use such information to show them you are in the know of what their practice areas are, what makes them unique, their reputation, and so forth. Be specific about what is it about Morgan Stanley that attracts you to them. Was it the people you met at the firm? Is it Morgan Stanley’s expertise and specialism in Consumer & Community Banking that excites you?
Essentially, you need to find the unique quality of Morgan Stanley that resonates with you and stress exactly why that means so much to you. At every single opportunity speak Morgan Stanley’s language. Morgan Stanley has provided its purpose, mission statement, key principles and beliefs on its website. Use them when talking about why want them and not another firm. If your cover letter is tailored to Morgan Stanley, the recruiter is more likely to believe that your cover letter was tailored for them. Think about it this way: if you want to go on a date with someone special do you send the person a mass text asking them out or will you tailor it to the person? For those struggling with ideas, this might be of help: there is a Morgan Stanley article titled ‘Why Work at Morgan Stanley? Here Are Four Great Reasons. That article states some of the things that Morgan Stanley believes make them different.
Section Four: Your Conclusion
The conclusion is probably the part that holds the less important information. If you have ‘tanked’ the other sections of your cover letter your conclusion will not make a difference. However, if you have written the other sections well, the conclusion gives you the platform to finish strong. You must not let your guard down when it gets to the conclusion as your work is not yet done as you need to deliver an excellent conclusion. To write a great conclusion, the conclusion must summarize your objective or reasons for applying to Morgan Stanley.
Thus to have a compelling conclusion, make use of action words telling the recruiter what you want. Show the recruiter that you are grateful for their time in looking at your cover letter, let them know when you are available for the next stage of the process (if it is subject to your availability) and that you are looking forward to hearing from them should be present. Something we encourage candidates to do in a cover letter is to make a promise to Morgan Stanley (or the firm you are applying to) – look at the sample of the cover letter provided below. If there’s something that you think is a flaw in your application such as a poor academic year or lack of investment banking experience, your conclusion is a good place to address it. Remember to sign off your letter as you would do in a formal letter.
Section Five: Morgan Stanley Cover Letter Example – Sales & Trading Summer Analyst
Congrapps is regarded as the number one platform for verified successful career resources! We only collect actual cover letters & interview experiences of those who made it to the most competitive graduate and entry-level jobs in Banking, Finance, Consulting and Law in the UK. Our objective is to help graduates from around the world to achieve their dreams by levelling the playing field and giving access to the same information to everyone!
The following cover letter addressed to Morgan Stanley is a successful cover letter from our database of successful letters that can be found on our platform. Below is the letter:
Morgan Stanley Investment Banking Summer Analyst
25 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf
London E14 4QA
Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing to express my interest in the position of an Investment Banking Summer Analyst at Morgan Stanley. I am a final-year student of BSc [Social Sciences] at [Russel Group University London] with an interest in Investment Banking.
My first insight into finance was at [Asset Manager], where I gained a deep understanding of corporate finance and accounting principles while building three-statement financial models of Consumer Staples companies. I learned company valuation techniques such as DCF and LBO; summarised conducted financial analysis including football fields; and modelled graphical outputs.
As an intern at [Strategy Consulting Firm], I was involved in four Buy-Side Due Diligence. I conducted a review of a data-centre company business plan, including churn and costs analysis; and evaluated potential M&A scenarios for a telco operator. I created extensive Excel models and presented the findings to the client. There I developed a keen interest in deal-making.
Furthermore, as a PPE student with leadership experience gained during scholarship of Government of [Country/City], I excelled in applying well-rounded analyses to problem-solving, managed resources, and run successful pitches to sponsors which raised £55,000 for [Student-run Organisation], [Event] and [Event] conferences. I am positive that this experience helped me develop skills that will be useful while preparing pitches at Morgan Stanley.
I want to join Morgan Stanley because it attracts the brightest minds, always tops the M&A and ECM rankings and is renowned for its expertise in Tech Industry. Moreover, I was impressed by the crucial role Morgan Stanley played in seeing off bids for Unilever from KraftHeinz recently. Through my association with [Name], an Investment Banking Analyst in London, I learned of the motivating and challenging work environment and steep learning curve culture which is reflected in the Core Values of Morgan Stanley.
I am confident that my extensive financial experience, passion and work ethic would positively contribute to Morgan Stanley and its clients.
Do not Write Generic Cover Letters
If your application involves you writing a cover letter, please and please do not write a generic letter to that firm. If you feel that you cannot tailor your letter to that particular firm we advise that you don’t bother writing to the firm as it will be of no use – this is how strongly we feel about generic letters. The drawback of writing a generic letter is that quite often it will be littered with mistakes that can make the recruiter want to bang his/her head on the table. Can you imagine writing to Morgan Stanley but you address them as JP Morgan? This is an automatic red flag and will lead to your disqualification. Furthermore, even if you don’t have such mistakes a generic letter will often be lacking in uniqueness.
Instead of writing a generic cover letter why not bring out a few hours and apply the information we have provided in the above paragraphs to your cover letter? A few hours spent well on your cover letter can be the deciding factor in you getting quality years at your dream firm.
Charles is a writer, practising lawyer and personal trainer who loves learning and developing himself. He graduated from Middlesex University, London with eight first-class grades in the second and third years of his law degree, and received a postgraduate offer from Cambridge University. He loves strength training, boxing and encouraging people to succeed in their pursuits (legal ones)
Congrapps is the №1 Platform for Verified Successful Career Resources! We collected the actual Cover Letters & Interview Experiences of those who made it to the most competitive graduate and entry-level jobs in Banking, Finance, Consulting and Law in London.
We help graduates achieve their dreams by levelling the playing field and giving access to the same information to everyone!